The Art of Caricaturing
The necessary materials used in drawing caricatures are few and inexpensive if
we compare them to the tools of some of the professions, such as surgery, etc.
The student of caricaturing should procure a number of drawing pens in various
sizes. Gillots drawing pens are perhaps the most widely used of all pens by
cartoonists and pen and ink artists in general. For drawing cartoons and
caricatures, sizes 170, 303, and 404 are the ones most used. Other sizes and
styles of pens may be very useful; especially bowl point pens for drawing heavy
lines for the outlines of cartoons.
The book “The Art of Caricaturing” reproduced a number of caricatures that
were outlined with a lettering pen which enabled the artist to get an effect
markedly original. These lettering pens may be had in many sizes, and shaped
with round, square, or oblong nibs. The student, or prospective student, is
advised to obtain some of these because every artist should learn to manipulate
the lettering pen and brush in lettering. Nearly all art work requires more or less
Other materials needed are, black waterproof drawing ink — Higgins is very
good — and pencils for sketching and drawing. All drawings should be completely
drawn with pencil before drawing in ink. Art gum erasers, thumb tacks for
fastening the drawing paper or board to the drawing board will also be needed.
The most satisfactory material to make the drawings on is a good grade of Bristol
Board. But if the drawings are not intended for publication, a good quality of
heavy, hard surface bond paper gives satisfactory results, and is also very good
Caricaturing requires a great deal of sketching, and one should keep a supply of
good paper for this purpose, to record ideas and impressions before they escape
from the mind to never return from that oblivion where all things mental and
material eventually go.
After the sudden outburst of scholarship and philosophy, consider the
manipulation of the pen, for the benefit of beginners who are familiar with this
medium of drawing. The drawing pen is held the same as the proper position for
writing: this is, with the thumb and first and second fingers of the right hand.
A variety of pen lines are used in cartooning and caricaturing. Fine lines, heavy
lines, slow lines, fast lines, irregular lines, and shaky lines are most frequently
used. Various lines, dots, and shading are called crosshatch lines and they are
used for shading. Graded lines are drawn by increasing or decreasing the
pressure on the pen; they are best drawn rapidly. Ends of lines that do not have
their termination in other lines are usually drawn thusly.
Some artists stamp their work with pads of denim and knit goods. One can often
create something original by experimenting, and trying many ways and
techniques of drawing an object, or caricature.
It is important that in the drawing of caricatures and cartoons — or any other
commercial art, for that matter — the artist know something about the processes
of reproduction for that particular art work. For pen and ink work, the engraving
is made on a zinc printing plate. It is not necessary, however, to know all of the
processes of reproduction.
Studying the many drawings in “The Art of Caricaturing” helps one see how
caricatures are drawn. The outlines are invariably the heaviest, while the lines for
shading and such, are finer. Noticing also how the lines have been drawn, and how
the pressure on the pen has been decreasing gradually at the end of the lines to
taper them, helps one avoid the cut off appearance that results from bringing
the pen to an abrupt stop at the same pressure, making the line the same
Studying an accomplished artist’s work and taking advantage of what he knows,
enables developing artists to put their own original ideas into drawings. This is
the road that leads to success in art.
Created for Albert.io. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
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